‘Royal pardon new human rights milestone in Bahrain’

Manama, His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s decree pardoning 1584 inmates in rioting and criminal cases marking the kingdom’s celebrations of the Silver Jubilee of His Majesty’s Accession to the Throne and Eid Al-Fitr has been praised by human rights officials and experts in the kingdom.

Speaking during a TV show devoted to the royal pardon, they asserted that HM the King’s kind gesture embodies the lofty humane values, programmes and initiatives emanating from the royal vision, stressing that the move contributes to strengthening belonging to the nation and consolidating social security.

In this regard, Ali Al Derazi, National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR) Chairman, said that the royal pardon is a noble move that would consolidate human rights in the kingdom and enhance the cohesion of the Bahraini society.

It is also based on the approach adopted by the kingdom since the launch of HM the King’s comprehensive development process as it ensures justice and the rule of the law, while maintainin
g the independence of the judiciary, Al Derazi said.

The NIHR chief also commended the government’s decision to ensure the integration of the pardoned inmates into the labour market, praising the Alternative Sentencing project’s role in protecting society and reducing the rate of recidivism.

Ghada Hameed Habib, Ombudswoman and Prisoners and Detainees Rights Commission (PDRC) Chairperson, affirmed that HM King Hamad is the premier advocate of human rights in the kingdom, as reflected in the innumerable achievements attained by the kingdom in this field since the inception of the comprehensive development process.

She paid tribute to the Interior Ministry for the strides it has made in the field of human rights protection, thanks to the directives of Minister, General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa.

She also indicated that the royal pardon is a milestone that adds to the kingdom’s human rights achievements, as it aims to give the inmates an opportunity to contribute to the nation-building process.

. Malallah Al Hammadi, NIHR’s Council of Commissioners member, asserted that the royal pardon reflects HM the King’s constant initiatives aimed at achieving the interests of the citizens and residents, by maintaining the cohesion and stability of Bahraini society, while protecting its social fabric, upholding public interest, safeguarding individual and civil rights.

Members of the Council of Representatives, MPs Mohammed Al Alaiwi, Mohammed Janahi and Mariyam Al Dhaen, said that the inmates had been pardoned amid the kingdom’s celebrations of HM’s Silver Jubilee and Eid Al-Fitr, confirming HM the King’s fatherly care and humane policy.

Major-General Dr. Abdulla Albuflaseh, from the Interior Ministry’s Legal Affairs section, asserted that the kind gesture is part of HM the King’s usual initiatives aimed at ensuring the security and stability of the Bahraini society, noting that the government, led by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, followed suit, a
s it gave directives to the Labour Ministry to provide training programmes and offer job opportunities to the pardoned individuals so that they can fulfill their social responsibility to contribute to the Kingdom’s comprehensive development.

Dr. Albuflaseh indicated that the royal pardon, the biggest of its kind in Bahrain for many years, had benefitted 1584 inmates, 65% of whom were convicted in rioting changes.

The pardon covered minors, women, the sick and others convicted on charges related in rioting and criminal cases, including some serving life sentences, he said, adding that the released had their fines waived.

He added that thanks to the royal vision which has contributed to developing the criminal justice system in the kingdom, many inmates have benefited from the Alternative Sentencing Law and the Open Prisons Programme, which provide them with golden opportunities to reintegrate into society.

He said the pardoned inmates had been selected based on specific criteria, including their discipline
and humanitarian conditions.

Source: Bahrain News Agency